Darkness. That’s all she can see when she opens her eyes, because that’s all you can possibly see if you’re wearing a black blindfold. Or maybe she’s just seeing the black of the fabric, but either way, its dark, so she just shuts her eyes.


She’s been waiting behind a flat with her blindfold on for at least ten minutes, and its starting to get annoying. She feels oddly helpless, and she doesn’t like knowing that she doesn’t know what’s going on around her. Hasn’t felt that way in a long time, and well, this is all getting far to metaphorical for her. Fuck it.


She’s just reaching up to unwind the length of black fabric from around her head when she feels a gentle touch on her wrist. Leading her away from where she is, and, it feels, away from the set, as well. When she opens her mouth to speak, she receives a gentle tap of two fingers on her lips and a quiet “shh.”


Long fingernails. Soft voice. Girl, with her soft hand wrapped around Britney’s wrist. Girl, leading her to god knows where, and she wants to protest but really, she’s bored as hell and she knows everyone there, and maybe its Lil’ Kim with a blunt or something. Please, God, anything to stop the boredom.


When they finally stop walking, the hand—soft skin, long nails, peach-scented lotion—is not so much wrapped around her wrist as stroking it gently, and Britney is pressed against the wall by the other firm yet gentle hand. Quiet giggles. Britney can’t place them, but they’re so familiar, and right on the back of her tongue, and—


Lips against hers. Soft and moist, parting to expel warm breath against Britney’s lips, and her first thought is not Justin not Justin not Justin, because, well, obviously, its not Justin. But her next thought is more formless, just an opening of her lips to allow more contact, and the little familiar giggle again erupts from the other girl—yes, definitely now a girl, slide of lipstick against Britney’s lips—and into Britney’s mouth. Not Justin, but someone else, and who the hell would lead her some dark and hopefully abandoned place to kiss mouth Lord lick her lips this way? Soft little cat tongue. Teasing.


Britney opens her mouth again to speak and finds it suddenly filled with the tip of someone else’s tongue, just a sweet little lick against her own. Another bell-like laugh, and she’s pressed more firmly into the wall by two hands this time, hands to shoulders and then running down, catching immediately on the bared flesh of Britney’s stomach, the length of flesh between her jeans and the ruffled hem of her shirt. So like Justin, because his hands always drift there immediately, into the caverns of her hipbones, but not, because there are soft-small fingers on her, long manicured nails circling her navel, catching on the ring that pierces her skin. Circlet of a ring with a stone, cold against her skin as the girl runs her knuckles over the muscles of Britney’s abs.


There’s also a strand of soft, unnaturally dry hair brushing against her collarbone, the cold heavy weight of jewelry against her chest. Like Justin, her mind whispers again, but then like Lance, because it feels like the weight of a cross on her breasts, just like when she hugs him.


Great. Now she has religious guilt in addition to knowledge that its not Justin, not Justin, not Justin.


She raises her hand to push the other—girl, girl, it’s a girl, dammit—away, but its then that the girl decides to kiss her again, and its so soft and good that her hands move without her permission, one settling on the other girl’s hip, the other fisted in her hair. They’re kissing. And it’s a headful of long soft processed curls, twisting around her fingers the way Justin’s used to, and a slim body with warm skin when she slides her hand underneath the silky fabric of the shirt. Curve of hip, the perfect resting place for her hand. Giggle into moan when she slides her thumb beneath the—jeans?—and a firmer press of that body into hers. Soft breasts against her own. Everything so soft and warm and familiar, and so different at the same time.


The next time the girl presses her lips against Britney’s, Britney kisses back. Can’t help but open her mouth and allow entrance, soft wet heat and the press of fingernails into her skin, and everything is so nice and sweet that she doesn’t even notice the fingers moving down, past her stomach to the first button on her jeans, and suddenly its open and the zipper is moving down, and she breaks away and her eyes open beneath the blindfold, and her mouth opens on a gasp as there are suddenly fingers. Against her skin. Just the fingertips, slipped inside the elastic of her thong, but its enough because never. She hasn’t. Never.


She doesn’t know whether to feel angry or turned on or scared, and her body’s confusing her because she’s shaking and she doesn’t know why.


Then the fingers slip beneath the elastic, and she knows why.


Soft little fingers against her—God. She can’t even bring herself to think it. But there are fingers there and they feel so tangible. Nothing like her own, but everything like her own, and maybe this is all some crazed hallucination she’s having, but it feels real. Knuckle against her oh my Lord, fingers twisting and opening and pressing


And she opens her mouth to moan and there are fingers. Against her mouth. Inside of her. Soft little voice saying, “shhh,” again. Mouth placing soft moist little kisses against her cheek, the line of her jaw. That giggle, again, and then the scrape of that ring against—


And she’s gone. Utterly, utterly gone. Stars against the firm black of her eyelids.


When she opens them again—like its any different than having them closed—she’s alone. Who knows how much time has passed, because that had been like losing her world and finding it all at the same time, but she thinks it was only enough time for the door—there was a door?—to close with a quiet little thump. Jesus.


And she’s going to need full hair and makeup and probably wardrobe again anyway, so she takes off the blindfold, opening her eyes with a wince.  Barely any light, but enough to stun, after so long in darkness. Dark room, closed off and empty, with nothing but tables with extra blindfolds spread out over them. Full-length mirror against one wall, and she looks into her own eyes to find. What? Not guilt, even though she should be feeling that, and not even happiness. Just something, and she looks kissed and—though she hates to think it—fucked. Feels boneless, sees it in the shake of her fingers as she buttons her jeans.


Exits the room to find yet more brightness, cameras and lights and people, all of it so shocking after…that. Whatever it was. She wonders briefly if they can see it in her face, but she’d made sure to smooth her hair, and her eyes always look sultry, though not usually this satisfied. She no longer looks like she’s waiting for something.


The assistant director comes running up to her with a clipboard and a pissed-off expression, but she doesn’t see him. What she sees is girls, in every corner.


Beyonce on one side with her girls, twisting a curl around her fingertips and giving Britney an unreadable look. She looks bored or knowing or just preoccupied, and Britney can’t help but notice her hand, resting on Michelle’s thigh. Kelly’s hand against her back. Mouth pressed in a whisper to the shell of Beyonce’s ear.


On the other side, Kim, leaning against a flat and laughing with Bono. She throws Britney a grin, then goes back to describing something, hands looping big exaggerated gestures in the air.


And in the middle of it all, Christina, getting her perfect curls hairsprayed and her petal-pink lipstick reapplied. Looking dainty and sweet, and it doesn’t mean anything that she’s right there, that she’s standing in the middle of it all shining and perfect. Doesn’t mean anything at all.


Suddenly there are lips against her ear and warm breath on her neck. Justin’s arms come around her waist, fingers warm against the ghost marks of tiny hands, and he says, “What’s up, baby?”


When she tries to answer, it comes out as a breath, because Christina turns to give her a wicked grin, and lifts a small hand to her mouth to lick delicately at her finger, ring sparkling in the light.